If you have decided to invest in and implement an enterprise resource planning system to help you manage your business in a consolidated and controlled manner, you should know that implementation is as important as selection. Implementing a platform like this constitutes a major change for your entire staff, so you want to be sure that you're fully prepared. Here are some of the things you should do to ensure a successful platform launch.
Evaluate And Adjust Procedures
It's common for business owners to assume that they should change as little as possible when they're implementing something significant like a new management platform. Unfortunately, when it comes to an enterprise resource planning implementation, that's not necessarily the case. Before you actually put this platform into full practice, you need to evaluate your company's processes and procedures to see how they integrate with the platform.
After all, if your current processes don't integrate well with the platform, you're not going to recognize the same time savings, efficiency and organization that you'd get from the platform if everything was cohesive.
Work closely with the development and implementation technician as well as the heads of each department to see how the processes used in each of your departments will work with the new system. This is a great time to identify any potential inefficiencies or conflicts that may need to be addressed. It will also help you to spot any redundancies in your processes, such as inputting customer orders in multiple places or requiring the sales team to obtain order history information from the accounts receivable department.
When you can integrate all of this information into a single platform, your staff will be able to access information quickly and easily. It may mean changing how the documents are input into the system or how information is passed between departments, so this is the time to document and implement all of those changes.
Work In Stages
It's tempting to rush the implementation and put everything in place immediately because of the novelty of a new platform. However, this often leads to cut corners and missed details because of the speed of the timeline. Instead, prioritize the most important elements of the platform and implement those first. Make sure they're working before you move on to other features.
Designing a clear implementation schedule is a key factor in this. Before you start any actual work, you should know exactly what will go live when. Put the schedule in writing so that everyone clearly understands the expectations. This eliminates the pressure on the implementation team to make all of the possible features available right away.
Pay For Thorough Training
Not only will your staff need complete training on the platform itself, they'll also need to understand any procedural changes as a result of that new platform. That means investing in comprehensive training programs for all of the staff to understand how it works. Comprehensive training is an important element in end user adoption of platforms.
Consider planning some comprehensive training days where you provide food and work with a trainer from the company who designed the platform. The trainer can offer the presentations and step-by-step training on the functionality, and you can take time to talk with each of the attendees to make sure everyone clearly understands the system. Plan these sessions strategically to be sure that you are effectively reaching each audience directly.
The more proactive you can be about planning and implementation of your enterprise resource planning platform, the easier it will be to integrate all of your company's departmental functions into one single system. Contact a company like Practical Technology Solutions to learn more about how you can implement this kind of software.